Robbie Pecorari shines in Toronto Toronto, July 10th, 2006. -- Robbie Pecorari escaped with minor damages during first lap in Toronto and motored on to his first Champ Car Atlantic victory, a 38-lap affair around the twisty Toronto ...
Robbie Pecorari shines in Toronto
Toronto, July 10th, 2006. -- Robbie Pecorari escaped with minor damages during first lap in Toronto and motored on to his first Champ Car Atlantic victory, a 38-lap affair around the twisty Toronto Exhibition Place facility. The 19-year old Aston, Pennsylvania native started in 5th place and capitalized on a great start heading to the inside of turn 1, then was hit hard by another car at the apex but was able to continue only to find himself in the lead after turn 3 heading down the Lakeshore Boulevard straight at the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto. His Western Union/USA Today/Gelles Racing car was still in racing trim and he kept pushing for the remaining 37 laps to capture his first Atlantic win.
"For the first lap, I wanted to stay out of trouble, said Pecorari, because I had a first lap mishap this year at Houston. Then I was hit hard in the back and saw the rear wing damage and had concerns for the right rear suspension. I drove the next corners expecting something would let go, but the car held together just fine and the handling had not changed much. I asked my engineer Geoff (Bushor) to see if something was wrong when I came by slowly next to the pit wall under the 1st full course yellow, I told him the car felt strong and I was going to take it as far as it would after the full course yellow. And that was until the checkered flag. At one point, it seemed like Jonathan (Bomarito) got a little closer but I just concentrated on banging out good laps and won by a fair margin (2.5 seconds). I want to cheer my crew for working so hard since Portland to give me a good car; they deserve a lot of credit for this win. I want to thank Bob (Gelles) for restructuring the team after Mexico, we have been strong the past three races so it proves to be a good plan, the recent results validate the successful change."
"This is one of the highlights in my team owner's career, claimed a joyful Bob Gelles. We're a rookie team in this league with a rookie driver and we have proved in the last four races we can mix with anybody. We knew back in Long Beach Robbie was an outstanding driver capable of winning against such a competitive field. This victory here in Canada is our payback for a lot of work from Robbie and our team, a true example for the young drivers we have in our ladder system. Experts will now have to consider this fine young man as a contender for the remaining rounds."
Top 5 all weekend
Pecorari stayed on top of the charts in every session Friday and Saturday. "We had a good setup Friday right out of the blocks, he said. We kept trying a few things to improve and even expected at one point the car would not be as fast. This was not to be, we were always in the Top 5. The car was exactly what I expected for the race and I knew I could fight for a podium. We have now proven our 3rd place qualification at Cleveland was not a fluke, the Gelles Team must be taken seriously."
Now setting eyes on Grand Prix of Edmonton
With Pecorari moving up in the point standings, Gelles Racing will now focus on the next event less than two weeks away, the Grand Prix of Edmonton. "We know this is a great event with a sellout crowd, added Gelles, and another race track similar to Cleveland where Robbie was so quick. We will also have another well experienced driver joining our team in the Western Union #14 car.